September 25 - October 1, 2016: Issue 282

Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant

Vegepods are a great idea for the junior gardener or for those who like to pick fresh produce straight from their Unit balcony.
For some plant out ideas, visit:  Salad Garden for Children 
Now is the time to get ready for a great Spring and Summer. Cleaning Winter’s green off your paths, decks and garden furniture, replenishing water-saving mulch, weeding or beginning a compost bin to feed salad vegetables, cleaning off that deck and guarding it from Summer sun with a re-oiling or re-stain are all little jobs that will create a great place for the family to enjoy the great outdoors in the coming months.

In a place where we’re focused on keeping it green this begins for most of us in our own yards. Using a power water cleaner to clean off your pavers and concrete paths means you don’t have to use any chemicals that could then damage your plants or lawn or run off into the stormwater.

As this picture shows, you can make weathered furniture or deck timbers look good as new by using a power wash cleaner.

You can read up on getting your deck looking great via these links: Decking TimbersCaring For Your Deck,  Decking Finishes and Deck Maintenanceor Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  

If you have paths that need a bit of repair, cleaning out and replacing that rim someone is always tripping over could be a good idea. 

Lever out the damaged section, Excavate for Concrete Path. form up a new section with boards, install a plastic membrane and F72 sheet metal, and reset with a new concrete section.  Slope the new section away from any run of water so you don’t get a slippery green build up. 

BUY 2 GET 1 FREE CEMENT AUSTRALIA CONCRETE MIX: • 20kg. • Ready to use - just add water. See in store for best price

In September Aphids can build up quickly on new rose shoots. It’s a good month to sow new lawns with lawn seed and mend bare patches. The first month of Spring is also a great time to do some care on established lawns by raking out old dead plant material or use the end of fork prongs to loosen up compacted lawn roots so water can get through.

Seeds to sow this month are:  Sunflower, Lettuces, Beans, Tomatoes, and Eggplants. For all things growing, spread organic mulch over all garden beds.

Visit Children's Salad Garden and Summer Salad Garden for a few tips on ho to inspire the next generation of green thumbs or for some suggestions for what you may like to eat at Christmas this year.

This Issue we’d like to focus in on Feeding Your Garden – there are a lot of fertilisers on the market today, each focused on varying plants, as well as a variety of mulches you can choose from, everything from those that take longer to deteriorate and are great for keeping the soil moist to those that break down to become an extra layer of compost.

Fertilising Basics
When applying any fertiliser it is imperative you use a mask so you don’t inhale anything in them and gloves so anything toxic that won’t grow you doesn’t get in through your skin. Wash your hands afterwards.

Quality is important in a potting mix, so look for the five ticks of the Australian Standard logo, usually found on the corner of the bag. The Australian Standard ensures a mix is manufactured to a consistent quality, in terms of drainage, aeration, water-holding capacity and pH, to give users a successful result. There are two grades of mix: one is regular grade, designated by a black logo, which contains virtually no fertiliser – add your own after using. The other is premium grade, with a red logo, which contains enough fertiliser added to sustain at least one month's growth and up to three months in some products. Buying products made wholly in Australia from Australian organics, sands and woods will also ensure the soil you’re putting back into Australia came from the earth here to begin with. 

Australian Standards relevant to recycled organics or compost are:
Australian Standard AS 4454 (2012). Composts, Soil Conditioners and Mulches
Australian Standard AS 3743 (2003). Potting Mixes
Australian Standard AS 4419 (2003). Soils for Landscaping and Garden Use
Australian Standard AS/NZS 4422 (1996). Playground Surfacing

Mixes that are designed for specific purposes, such as propagation, in products labelled as 'seed-raising mix' will give better results than a general-purpose potting mix. Most seed-raising contain a finer grade of composted pine bark than potting mix, to ensure good moisture contact with the seeds. They can also include coir peat to hold moisture, and perlite to improve aeration and drainage. 

Another alternative is to buy those geared specifically towards what you wish to grow or feed. In these the actual type of sand/soil and fertiliser quantities are determined by the needs of the plants for which the mix is designed.


Native Plants 
Many in Pittwater have a pocket in their garden or the whole of their garden is comprised from Native Plants – these too need a good feed if you have soil which is lacking in nutrients. For Australian bushflowers and plants follow two golden rules:
The phosphorous (P) level must be 3% or less for native plants. Native plants are very sensitive to phosphorous and too much will kill them.
Read the directions and don’t exceed the recommended rate. Fertiliser is like medicine – the right amount works wonders, too much is lethal.
Trees and shrubs need a fairly high nitrogen content in the fertiliser – at least 10% – so products such as Dynamic Lifter which have low N don’t give spectacular results. Also, the phosphorus content may be too high, so read the label very carefully.
Products such as Aquasol or other liquid/soluble fertilisers can be used or you buy fertilisers specific for Native Plants.



Potted Plants
Premium potting mixes already contain fertilisers when you buy them, but these are used up and leached out quickly once you start watering your plants. Top them up as per the instructions on the product. Controlled, slow-release fertilisers are ideal for potted plants, because they release a steady supply of nutrients into the potting mix over a specified period: normally three, six or 12 months. After this time, they will need to be reapplied according to the product label's application rate. Alternatively, you can use a liquid fertiliser product at more frequent intervals. Liquid fertilisers are readily taken up by plants so they can give a quick boost to plant growth. 

GARD&GROW® PREMIUM POTTING MIX: $8.00 -25L. Contains wetting agents and fertiliser. AS3743.

Vegetable Garden
Spring is the time we all plant out a few herbs and vegetables for summer salads. Preparing the soil by turning over the earth, working in some good compost and allowing that to settle through watering prior to planting out will give your garden beds or pots a good start. Feeding them once planted will give them a boost but avoid this once leaves appear as too much fertiliser will burn the leaves and roots. Adding a good mulch to protect the growth and help the soil retain moisture is also a must. Choose something that will break down into the soil, not overheat, and give a good layer of protection.

SUGAR CANE MULCH BALE: $14.00 • Covers 7m2.

TOP TASTE TOMATO COLLECTION:              TOMATO TRAINER: $24.00 - 133cm.      GARDEN STAKE: Pack of 6 12 x 12 x 600mm.$4.97  $3.45 - 100mm pot. Easy to grow.                                                                                                       Also available - 12 x 12 x 900mm. $7.90 

Lawn Feeding
Your lawn will also benefit from a good feed in this season of growth. Apart from a good watering in fertiliser and ph check you may want to boost lawn health by using products made for growing that Summer Backyard Cricket Pitch.

GARD&GROW® HOSE ON WEEDING + FEEDING FERTILISER:                  YATES WEED N FEED: $9.99 • 5kg. • Granular.
• 2.2L.  $ 7.48  Also available: 4L  $12.99

All products and suggestions on this page are stocked by Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Hardware - simply call into one of their stores and speak to their friendly trained staff on your Spring fertilising needs.

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

 vegepod made into a fail-safe herb garden - at Johnson Brothers Hardware Mitre 10 Mona Vale

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weatherboards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

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